Located along a road near Maruyama-Koen Station, a little way from the center of Sapporo, "Nihon Ryori Toraya" is eye-catching with its mustard-yellow walls. This quaint Japanese restaurant is run by Satoshi Maruyama and his wife and has Michelin 1-star.
Chef Maruyama is originally from the city of Kitami in Hokkaido. His parents run a tempura restaurant, an influence that saw Satoshi naturally enter the culinary profession. He worked as the head chef at "Tokyo Chikuyotei" (Sapporo location), a restaurant specializing in eel and Japanese cuisine, for 5 years before going independent in 1996 and establishing his own restaurant, Toraya.
Speaking about his cooking, Maruyama says, "The menu is decided by the seasons. As a chef, I find great joy in selecting the best ingredients of the season." The majority of the ingredients used at the restaurant are from Hokkaido, including the vegetables that Maruyama grows himself. Meals at Toraya typically comprise of carefully selected seafood and plenty of seasonal vegetables. One consistently popular dish is a vegetable dish consisting of 15 seasonal vegetables in bonito-flavored soy sauce. Each of the vegetables is extremely flavorsome, leaving a lasting impression on all those who try this dish. Toraya is also known for being one of the few restaurants in Hokkaido that specialize in eel, and in the summer, in particular, many diners come to the restaurant with the aim of trying the fantastic eel Kaiseki cuisine made with eel from Kagoshima. There is a selection of 6-7 Japanese sake to accompany a meal, all of which are light, easy-sipping offerings that have been selected to go well with the vegetables.
The interior of the restaurant is filled with a sense of warmth from the wooden decor, and the tables, chairs, painting, calligraphy and other furnishings are all the handiwork of skilled artisans. Original artworks and tableware have slowly been collected over time to cement Toraya's image as a restaurant, creating a space that is packed with thought and affection. On the ground floor, there is a counter with 6 seats plus one private room, while upstairs, there are a further 3 private rooms, 2 of which feature tatami mats. Toraya not only enjoys the patronage of tourists, both Japanese and from overseas, but many families also come here to celebrate special moments in their children's lives, such as birthdays or the weaning ceremony, which is just one of the reasons why it has remained one of the area's most beloved restaurants for such a long time. Chef Maruyama says, "When you're tired and want to be restored by cuisine that features ample vegetables, I'd be delighted if you came to Toraya. No matter how much you eat here, your body will feel lighter the next day." Toraya's approach is to express the bounties of Hokkaido through vegetables, and diners will enjoy the authentic Japanese cuisine and the sense of relaxation offered at the restaurant.
*The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 3-minute walk from Maruyama Koen Station(Sapporo Municipal Subway Line)